Topic: DANCE

Language: Old English
Origin: stæpe


1 noun
step1 S2 W2


[countable] the movement you make when you put one foot in front of or behind the other when walking:
a video of baby's first steps
He took one step and fell.
step back/forwards/towards etc
Tom took a step back and held the door open.
I had to retrace my steps (=go back the way I came) several times before I found the shop.


[countable] one of a series of things that you do in order to deal with a problem or to succeed
step in (doing) something
This is the first step in reforming the welfare system.
step towards
an important step towards peace
The president took immediate steps to stop the fighting.
(major/big/great) step forward (=an action that makes things better)
The discovery of penicillin was a major step forward in the treatment of infections.
Many teachers see an emphasis on written tests as a step backwards (=an action that makes things worse).
Environmentalists call the change a step in the right direction (=a good thing to do).

in a process

[countable] a stage in a process, or a position on a scale:
Each book goes up one step in difficulty.
Record your result, and go on to step 3.
step in
the next step in the process
Drug companies influence the scientific process every step of the way (=during every stage).
Describe step by step (=describing each stage) how you went about achieving your goal.
Moving to Cottage Grove represented a definite step up (=something that is better than you had before) for my parents.
He saw the job as a step down (=something that is worse than you had before).


[countable]TBB a flat narrow piece of wood or stone, especially one in a series, that you put your foot on when you are going up or down, especially outside a building:
Jenny sat on the step in front of the house, waiting.
He climbed the wooden steps and rang the bell.
a flight of (=set of) broad stone steps


[countable] the short distance you move when you take a step while walking [= pace]:
Roy was standing only a few steps away.


[countable] the sound you make when you put your foot down while walking [= footstep]:
I heard a step in the corridor.


[countable]APD a movement of your feet in dancing:
the steps for the Charleston

in step

a) having ideas or actions that are like those of other people
in step with
He isn't in step with ordinary voters.
b) PMA moving your feet so that your right foot goes forward at the same time as people you are walking with

out of step

a) having ideas or actions that are different from those of other people
out of step with
This type of training is out of step with changes in the industry.
b) PMA moving your feet in a different way from people you are walking with

watch your step

also mind your step British English
a) to be careful about what you say or how you behave:
You'd better watch your step - he's the boss here.
b) to be careful when you are walking:
Mind your step - the railing's loose.

fall into step (with somebody)

a) to start walking beside someone at the same speed as them:
Maggie fell into step beside her.
b) to start thinking or doing the same as other people:
The administration has fallen into step with its European allies on this issue.

be/keep/stay one step ahead (of somebody)

a) to be better prepared for something or know more about something than someone else:
A good teacher is always at least one step ahead of his students.
b) to manage not to be caught by someone who is trying to find or catch you

way somebody walks

[countable usually singular] the way someone walks, which often tells you how they are feeling:
Gianni's usual bouncy step


[plural] British EnglishD a stepladder


[uncountable]DSO a type of exercise you do by walking onto and off a flat piece of equipment around 15-30 centimetres high:
a step class


[countable] American EnglishAPM the difference in pitch between two musical notes that are separated by one key on the piano [= tone British English]

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